Year C Children's Stories: Season after Easter
Each Sunday there are two short stories. One is a simple telling of the Bible story, showing what changes for the disciples because Jesus is alive. The second is a contemporary story, imagining what this change might look like in the lives of children. A short prayer concludes the children’s feature each Sunday.
Children’s features are a special time in worship where we make sure the message is presented simply, but the message is not just for children. Each story time comes with a question for adults to ponder as they listen to the stories with the children.
Ideas for presentation:
- Invite an artist to sketch while the stories are told. Each week the sketch can be added to a display board along with the key words or question from that story. If possible, have the sketching done where everyone can see (large poster paper, overhead, on the projector…) The drawing could come from either story. This gives children and adults a focus for their attention (cuts down on the wiggles), provides reminders of changes we experience because Jesus lives, and engages the visual gifts of a congregational member.
- Ask a small group to act out the contemporary story each week. Children especially love to see adults act out the parts of children. Keep the character of Sophie consistent from week to week if possible, and adapt the basic story to fit your congregation.
- Post the “change phrases” (titles from each week) where everyone can see them/in your bulletin. These phrases include: tiny to huge, coward to courageous, sadness to joy, out to in, old to new, prison to freedom.
- Depending on the age of the children, some topics may need a short explanation. For example, in Acts 16, the story is about a slave girl. Explain what a slave is before telling the story.
- Some stories lend themselves to various “props.” For Easter Sunday, a carrot seed and a carrot are helpful visuals. You may even want to send children home with something they can plant.
Since Easter is a moveable feast, it can occur as early as March 22 and as late as April 25. When Easter is early, it encroaches on the Sundays after the Epiphany, reducing their number, as necessary, from as many as nine to as few as four. In similar fashion, the date of Easter determines the number of Sunday Propers after Pentecost. When Easter is as early as March 22, the numbered Proper for the Sunday following Trinity Sunday is Proper 3.
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